Dr. Laura Blevins knew she wanted to get into the medical field even as a child.
Blevins, who first came from Moab, Utah, said she grew up following the case of her father, who struggled with multiple sclerosis. This experience particularly sparked her curiosity about the neurology field.
But after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in biology from Southern Oregon University and researching the traditional paths to medical school, she decided to take a different direction: naturopathy.
“I saw the backside of the pharmaceutical industry and really felt like I wanted to have more tools in my tool kit than just prescribing medications,” she said.
Now, Blevins is expanding her own Klamath Falls clinic, Wholesome Family Medicine, along South Sixth Street as she and others continue to build on their unique primary practice.
Different yet familiar
In many cases, naturopathic doctors work with patients to create treatment plans that combine traditional and botanical medicines. Blevins and her staff also provide patients with common and extended lab tests, IV supplement therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and several other alternative treatments at their offices.
As a primary care provider, Blevins said she likes to get to know the patient more and research their entire medical history. She says she’ll get to the root of the cause and likes to “see the whole picture and treat the whole person.”
As a board licensed naturopathic physician and graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Blevins describes her patients as “self-selecting,” adding that many often prefer and seek out naturopathy practices. She added that her services are particularly popular among some members of the agriculture community, who often say they prefer natural alternatives.
Blevins said she has prescribed certain common medications if absolutely necessary — she used high blood pressure treatments as one example — but likes to stick with natural supplements whenever possible.
“But then let’s work on find why your blood pressure’s elevated,” Blevins said.
Setting up, spreading out
The clinic’s expansion into their new offices along South Sixth Street are just one of several transitions since Blevins first opened shop as the only naturopathy family care clinic in Klamath Falls.
Blevins first started her practice at the Klamath Women’s Clinic and Birth Center when it was still at the 1800 block of Main Street in 2015. Blevins said that they previously moved from a location along Austin Street, which only had about 750 square-feet of space.
Settling into their new location at 4036 S. Sixth St. has allowed them to expand their services in the past few months, in addition to the primary care, mental health and massage therapy services they already provide.
In October, Carolynn Conti also joined on as a childbirth and breastfeeding consultant under Better Birth and Lactation. Conti, who previously worked at Sky Lakes Medical Center, has decades of experience and previously helped with local programs through the hospital’s family birth center.
Moving forward, Blevins said she, her staff and other practitioners have plans to continue their expansions at the new site, which could eventually include yoga classes and other activities. She also said she’s seeking out a family nurse practitioner so they could potentially accept TRICARE and Medicare, in addition to another ND.
“It’s a great resource for people to know about in the community,” Blevins said. “I take patients on a case-by-case basis at this point, but all these other gals are pretty wide open and accepting new clients.”
More information on Blevins’s practice, in addition to insurance plans commonly accepted, can be found online at wholesomefamilymedicine.com or by calling 541-851-9320.